Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard supported President Donald Trump in his fight to remove the protection of Section 230 for technology platforms and accused some legislators of “kowtowing” to the interests of monopolies in the sector.
Published on Fox News, the Hawaiian Democrat and former presidential candidate said “many” legislators refused to take “action” against Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The law protects technology companies from liability for the content their users post and allows technology companies to moderate content in good faith on their platforms without incurring civil liability.
She also accused her co-legislators of failing to do “the right thing” after a bipartisan draft of the National Defense Authorization Act, released Thursday, failed to repeal the controversial law.
In response to a post by Trump railing against Section 230 on Thursday, Gabbard tweeted: “Donald Trump, I fully support you in this matter. Please do not back down. The freedom and future of our country is at stake.”
In a conversation with Fox News that same evening, Gabbard also said, “Donald Trump fully supports you in this matter: “So many members of Congress refuse to take action to get rid of this legal immunity that allows them to abuse this power as a huge technology monopoly.
“That’s why I have tweeted in support of President Trump, that’s why I think it’s a good thing he’s pushing, especially when the Republicans in the Senate are pushing them to get rid of [Section 230].
The Hawaiian Democrat later added: “It is unfortunate that once again there are so many members of Congress who are supposed to represent the people, who in reality are groveling at the feet of the special interests of the big technology monopolies and are not doing the right thing.
Gabbard supported the President’s push to repeal Section 230, threatening to veto the Annual Defense Expenditures Act if legislators did not introduce a provision to abolish the controversial rule.
“If the very dangerous and unfair Section 230 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is not completely repealed, I will be forced to clearly VETO the bill when it is sent to the very nice desk of Resolute,” the Commander-in-Chief tweeted on Wednesday.
Trump and his allies have repeatedly argued that paragraph 230 allows political discrimination against conservatives on various platforms – including varying censorship of the president’s own posts for alleged election fraud.
The $740 billion defense bill, which is largely based on routine funding of basic military functions, has been passed on an annual basis for the past 59 years. The possibility that the bill could be blocked has raised alarm in some circles.
Republican Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma defended the bill to reporters: “First of all, 230 has nothing to do with the military. I agree with his views. We should abolish 230, but you cannot do that in this bill. That’s not part of the bill.”